Town of Willamette

The original plat maps show the Willamette town site on parts of the land claims of Marshall Perrin, who arrived in the area in 1842, Ambrose Fields (arrived in 1847), and his son Joseph Fields (1849). Most of the two Fields’ claims were sold in 1880 to the Oregon Iron and Steel Company, who harvested timber to fuel its smelter operation in Oswego.

The Perrin land claim went through a succession of owners, eventually being purchased in 1885 by B.F. Baker.

The Willamette Falls Electric Company, formed to produce electricity at the Willamette River falls, purchased many of Oregon Iron and Steel Company’s land, and B.F. Bakers property. In 1893, the Willamette Falls Electric Company established the town of Willamette for its employees.

In 1894, the Willamette Falls Railway began operating an electric trolley line between Willamette and a station near the falls for employees and to haul cordwood, floated down the Tualatin River, to be transported to the paper mill at the falls.

Willamette was first incorporated in 1908, then reincorporated in 1913. Shortly thereafter, a typhoid epidemic was tracked to a contaminated town water supply, which led to annexation to West Linn in 1916 to supply clean water to Willamette.